Skip to comments.Why evolution is a political question
Posted on 05/08/2007 9:24:03 PM PDT by Chuckmorse
During the May 3 Republican presidential debate, moderator Chris Matthews asked the candidates How many of you dont believe in evolution? Sen. Sam Brownback, Gov. Mike Huckabee, and Rep. Tom Tancredo all raised their hands indicating that they did not believe in it.
Rep. Barney Frank raised the same question in 2004 when he accused me, his opponent that year, of questioning the theory of evolution. Liberals are confident that those who question the theory of evolution will be held up for public ridicule and scorn. Many liberals pride themselves on questioning everything in life except when it comes to the theory of evolution, which they accept as bedrock science. But is it?
The theory of evolution is just that, a theory. There is not a shred of evidence to indicate that mankind evolved from the amoeba, which evolved into the fish, which evolved into the bird, which evolved into the mouse, which evolved into the monkey, which evolved into man. While there is evidence of inter-species evolution, there is no proof of the basic thesis presented by Charles Darwin which is that one species evolves into another. In fact, science seems to favor creationism, also just a theory, as recent DNA evidence indicates that mankind is descended from one mother.
It could be therefore argued that the theory of evolution, since it is not science in the sense that there is no documented or empirical evidence to back it up, is based as much on religious belief as is creationism. Both theories are based on faith as opposed to scientific certainty and, I would argue, creationism contains better science. Yet the liberal establishment demands that the federal government mandate by law that only evolution is to be taught in the public school science class.
I would argue that Intelligent design, which is the theory that mankind was created by divine intervention, could be introduced into education in tandem with the theory of evolution without getting into any particular religious scenario, such as the Genesis story in the Bible, and without endorsing any particular religious denomination. If intelligent design were to be given equal time with evolution, the faith of the atheist would be no more compromised than that of the theist. In fact, such a presentation would be more honest and balanced since scientific inquiry is supposed to be open to all plausible theories.
The theory of evolution is a political question in American politics because liberal supporters demand that the federal government mandate its teaching and insist on a gag order when it comes to any discussion of intelligent design in the classroom. This is contrary to American traditions of free speech and the free and open expression of ideas. This also violates the right of the taxpaying citizen to have a say in the education of their own children and supplants the ability of local educators and elected local school board officials to determine curriculum.
Teaching intelligent design alongside evolution would open doors to important thought and inquiry. When the young student contemplates the possibility that mankind is more than just an evolving animal, amoral and bound to nature like other animals, than perhaps the student becomes aware of the uniqueness and value of every single human life. Implied in the theory of a divine creator is that there is a larger purpose to life and that there is a moral code. Intelligent design sets the stage for the individual to look to a higher power than the government, which is perhaps why liberals so adamantly oppose it. In these times of rampant school violence and moral relativism, the teaching of intelligent design, in a non sectarian way and alongside the teaching of the theory of evolution, would serve many positive purposes besides a simple striving for truth.
Over a span of BILLIONS of years. Time is not of the same sense at such a scale.
“So, it looks like many creationists not only “believe” in macro-evolution, but have it going at a much faster rate than scientists posit.”
First, I must admit that I was not familiar with the macroevolution definition you gave: “evolutionary changes at the level of species and above”. Further, you would be correct in saying that we have observed speciation occurring and speciation is macroevolution according to your definition. It is also true that most Creationists would accept that part of the definition.
However, there is a second part of the definition of macroevolution that claims “major structural changes in species”. This is the part of the definition that most Creationists would object to.
I think it is a bit of a scam for some naturalist evolutionists to imply that since we have observed minor species differentiation in the present that this type of speciation accounts for “major structual changes” required for inorganic to organic, lizard to bird, etc.
It seems illegitimate, at least to me, for evolutionists to point to the speciation of fruit flies or mosquitoes as macroevolution as though it accounts for the major evolutionary changes that would have to occur for inorganic matter to become a living cell, or for a lizard to become a bird.
So, while I do agree that on the one level “macroevolution” would be acceptable to creationist, it would not follow that this type of macroevolution accounts for producing the huge structural changes that would be required to fulfill the claims of naturalistic evolution. This type of macroevolution has not been observed.
That was a hoax perpetrated by a Chinese farmer and was discovered by scientists almost immediately. Someone (Sloan, the NG art editor) jumped the gun and published the find in National Geographic before it passed peer review. Both 'Nature' and 'Science' rejected the paper.
This fraud, perpetrated not by a scientist but by a poor farmer shows what can happen when peer review is bypassed.
BTW, the two fossils (Microraptor zhaoianus and Yanornis martini) which made up Archaeoraptor were important finds in themselves.
This is a transitional. Note its position in the chart which follows (in the upper center).
(This chart is a "best guess" approximation of the macroevolution of hominids over the past 3-4 million years.)
Creationists have had trouble classifying this specimen to either man or ape, with some major figures favoring man and some favoring ape.
Scientists also have disagreed as to its exact taxonomic place. The difficulty in deciding just where to place this specimen (as it shares traits of both earlier and later specimens) is one line of support for its transitional status.
Site: Koobi Fora (Upper KBS tuff, area 104), Lake Turkana, Kenya (4, 1)
Discovered By: B. Ngeneo, 1975 (1)
Estimated Age of Fossil: 1.75 mya * determined by Stratigraphic, faunal, paleomagnetic & radiometric data (1, 4)
Species Name: Homo ergaster (1, 7, 8), Homo erectus (3, 4, 7), Homo erectus ergaster (25)
Gender: Female (species presumed to be sexually dimorphic) (1, 8)
Cranial Capacity: 850 cc (1, 3, 4)
Information: Tools found in same layer (8, 9). Found with KNM-ER 406 A. boisei (effectively eliminating single species hypothesis) (1)
Interpretation: Adult (based on cranial sutures, molar eruption and dental wear) (1)
See original source for notes:
The chances were surely random. But they weren’t purely random. Each possibility didn’t have the same opportunity to occur as the other. Every outcome had an influence over the other. Not pure chance. That is the key difference. Over those billion years, they can do amazing things.
Evolutionists object to the that notion also, that "major structural" changes happen within the evolution of a single species, or even consequent with a single speciation event.
We envision -- and more importantly have concrete examples thereto in the fossil record -- "major structural changes" arising over a whole series of species and speciation events. For instance there are fossils showing the migration of the ear ossicles starting out as large bones in the reptilian jaw, one actually functional in the jaw joint, and ending up as tiny bones in the mammalian ear. This is certainly a "major structural change," but it occurred by tiny steps distributed across many different species.
However, interpreting evidence with a view toward reinforcing a preconceived theory such as GTOE is very different from allowing the evidence to guide the theory. The same applies to Creation, BTW: at the core, both the Evolutionist and the Creationist hold their views by faith, since our remotest origins are not subject to true observation-, measureability-, and repeatability-based science.
The operative term to remember for evolution is reinforcement syndrome.
A rock can come down. But that’s an isolated stored-energy release phenomenon. On the other hand, life systems thrive on energy poured out on them. On earth, the source is the sun, directly or indirectly. Now that can make things go up or down.
But look at the sun itself. It is certainly bound to lose energy over time, and with it, the systems that rely on it will cease activity too. The “rock” will at last, start to settle.
TOE proponents have been “modifying” the Theory since it first came to light.
That is just fine, and probably as it should be, but the fact that it requires updating and modifying is in my view a good enough reason for other ideas to be allowed to be modified in “Science’ classes.
My biggest bone of contention in all of this is that always there seems to appear some lawyers dressed in collegiate robes calling themselves “Judges” who have been quite busy dictating a specific curriculum to parents who simply do not accept the exclusive teaching of just one continuously “modified” scientific theory.
That is BS, and people are not going to just sit back and take it any more
Besides, that is exactly the opposite of how it should be in a school that is supported by taxes. In a tax funded school, "everything" should be taught in order to please all of the people all of the time.
It ain't that way though, because Liberals have taken over, just as Hitler and Stalin declared they would, through public education.
Schools these days are more interested in teaching a lot of PC nonsense then they are actually concerned about education. ID for example is just as valid as TOE because there is no way to "prove" one is more valid than the other. You know, I know it, and a lot of FReepers also know it, among others.
nevada- what coyote describes is NOT macro-evolution but micro-evolution plain and simple- the evo crowd desperately needs for the definition of macro-evolution to include any change what-so-ever in order to support the unprovale hypothesis that mutations can create major structural changes that would seperate KINDS (another word they shrink from). s the evos know, mutations have never, ever been shown to create new unique organs which would be required to produce NEW KINDS. Small structural changes in microevolution usually involve either LOSS of information, or a remodling of information already present, and not the needed GAIN of NEW information needed for new unique organs. Pointing out these obvious definitions of NEW information however will illicit an accusation of psuedoscience and ‘Creatyionists trying to redefine science” will come from the evo crowd who beleive any change, no matter how small or no matter the fact that the change only works on information already present amounts to macroevolution.
Ramapithecus Widely recognized as a direct ancestor of humans. It is now established that he was merely an extinct type of orangutan.
Piltdown man Hyped as the missing link in publications for over 40 years. He was a fraud based on a human skull cap and an orangutan’s jaw.
Nebraska man A fraud based on a single tooth of a rare type of pig.
Java man Based on sketchy evidence of a femur, skull cap and three teeth found within a wide area over a one year period. It turns out the bones were found in an area of human remains, and now the femur is considered human and the skull cap from a large ape.
Neandertal man Traditionally depicted as a stooped ape-man. It is now accepted that the alleged posture was due to disease and that Neandertal is just a variation of the human kind.
And the star of the show...
Australopithecus afarensis, or “Lucy” Considered a missing link for years. However, studies of the inner ear, skulls and bones have shown that she was merely a pygmy chimpanzee that walked a bit more upright than some other apes. She was not on her way to becoming human.
Homo erectus Found throughout the world. He is smaller than the average human of today, with a proportionately smaller head and brain cavity. However, the brain size is within the range of people today and studies of the middle ear have shown that he was just like current Homo sapiens. Remains are found throughout the world in the same proximity to remains of ordinary humans, suggesting coexistence
Australopithecus africanus and Peking man Presented as ape-men missing links for years, but are now both considered Homo erectus.
The Most Recent Find
In July 2002, anthropologists announced the discovery of a skull in Chad with “an unusual mixture of primitive and humanlike features.” The find was dubbed “Toumai” (the name give to children in Chad born close to the dry season) and was immediately hailed as “the earliest member of the human family found so far.” By October 2002, a number of scientists went on record to criticize the premature claim — declaring that the discovery is merely the fossil of an ape.
ID is a religious belief. The theory of evolution is a scientific theory.
“Missing Link, or Just Jawboning About Ear Evolution?”
yes radix, the ‘theory’ of evolution is scientific, while the ‘theory’ of creation isn’t- don’t ya know that only the congregation of evos are allowed theories? Don’t ya realize that only the congregation of evos are allowed to fit evidences and make wild leaps of judgements in efforts to connect dissimiliar species by pointing out a few similiarities in their DESIGNS? Don’t disparage ‘science’ by infering that other theories without the massive holes and impossibilities is a valid alternative to the dogmatic trasitionless theory of evo. Lightneining stuck some muck, single wrong-sided amino acids ‘created’ from this muck somehow avoided combining with the other handed amino acids that would have killed them all off when comming into contact with them, and then these wroinh-handed amino acids overcame impossible scenarios and somehow avoided the destructive energies of the world that surely would have killed anything off, then made impossible leaps to protiens and then went on to somehow induce an incredible amount of NEW unique information needed for macro-evolution to become man, and that is that- don’t ya understand?
The question was whether "major structural changes" can, as a matter of plausibility and possibility, arise in microevolutionary (creationist definition) steps. IOW if a "major" structural change can arise in stepwise fashion without any of the individual steps being "major".
Clearly and inarguably the difference between reptilian jaw bones and mammalian ear ossicles is both "major" and "structural". Equally clearly a stepwise transition between the two, without any step being "major" is at least possible because we actually have examples of the stages. Of course mainstream scientists think those examples actually are steps in a real transitional series, but even if you reject that the mere fact of being able to arrange even a hypothetical transition, if with real fossils, shows at least the possibility of achieving "major" change in "non-major" steps.
So then when the tDNA makes a “mistake” things can run a little amok at the other end.
Funny, I also heard that when such events do occur they are almost always “negative” in their impact to the particular organism.
I sort of think that what I heard was that whenever the little amino acids do not line up correctly, the result is called a “mutation” and my Biology teacher a long time ago before he died once said to me that “all mutations” result in a degrading of the individual species.
This is one of the things that has long confused me, because I had the notion in my head that things were getting better all of the time, especially among biological organisms.
So then, anyhow, many years later, I decided to take Biology Courses again.
Now of course they do things very different. They don’t teach about plants & animals anymore.
Now they teach about “molecules” and cellular function and energy consumption and the sliding scales of O2 and lots of big words and how they interact and ATP results and then you get “action potentials” and stuff happens and life goes on, and procreation results.
I truly enjoyed that business about the "punctuated equilibrium" because I learned a lot about the history of professional baseball when I perused through the writings of Stephen J. Gould. He was very big on that "modify" thingy.
Of course they have real evidence of “evolution” happening in front of our eyes because some finches get bigger populations when it rains out, and smaller populations when it doesn’t. They also have those mosquitoes in the London Subway System to prove” stuff to us great unwashed.
The thing is, any group who insists that other views should not be allowed, expressed, or taught in a public setting is guilty of censorship. Pure and simple.
There is nothing new under the Helios.